In the bottom of the fifth, with only one out and runners on second and third, Nebraska skipper Will Bolt made the tough decision to walk Maryland shortstop Matt Shaw, hoping it would create a potential double play before more damage could be done by the Terps offense.
Unfortunately for him, Nick Lorusso had other plans. Lorusso ripped a line drive down the third base line, which was missed by the Nebraska third baseman and fumbled by their left fielder. The end result was a bases-clearing triple for the Terps’ third baseman, giving them their first lead of the day – a lead they would not look back from.
The Terps bested the Cornhuskers at home on Friday night, 8-4.
The Terps entered today’s game on an eight game win streak, with their last seven ending with them scoring 10 or more runs. After last weekend’s sweep over the Hoosiers in Indiana, the Terps re-entered the rankings for the first time since the first few weeks of the season. Tonight, they continued their campaign to rise even further.
Although tonight’s result breaks that seven game streak with 10 or more runs, the Terps offense was by no means asleep tonight. The squad ended with 9 hits and 5 RBIs, most of which came from their fifth inning explosion.
“Against a good team with good arms like that, it’s gonna be hard to line up and go hit, hit, hit, hit, hit, and score 12,” Vaughn said. “You gotta do the little things right, and I thought, when the money was on the line tonight we did a really good job.”
On the defensive side, Maryland was once again strong. Nick Dean earned the starting nod from Vaughn today, and finished with an impressive performance. Despite giving up a two-run homer in the first inning, from there on out Dean held the Cornhuskers to one hit and scoreless. Kenny Lippman and Nigel Belgrave came in as relief, each with solid outings. Lippman earned his sixth win of the year, moving him to 6-0. David Falco came in to close things out, earning the save.
“I’ll tell you what, I don’t think I’ve been more proud of a kid and how he’s competed,” Vaughn said of Dean. “It’s no secret that he had some forearm tightness a couple weeks ago, and from pitch two tonight, he was hurting. I tried to take him out after the second, he wouldn’t come out, I tried to take him out after the third, he wouldn’t come out…just what an absolute warrior for his teammates and the most unselfish act I’ve ever seen. He gave us four and allowed us to turn over to the bullpen and those guys did their job and were outstanding.”
The Terps will be back in action tomorrow at 2 p.m., looking for yet another series win to stay in the driver’s seat in the Big Ten as the regular season winds down.